The Appellate Division, First Department recently ruled that “live-in” nurses working 24-hour shifts should be paid for all 24 hours regardless of their allotted sleep and meal breaks. This ruling came in stark contrast to what had been the New York State Department of Labor’s (DOL) longstanding view that “live-in” nurses’ payment should follow the 13-Hour Rule. It required that they only be paid for 13 hours of their shift if they were allotted at least 8 hours of sleep and 3 hours for meal time.
This week, the New York State Appellate Division, Second Department further ruled in favor of “live-in” nurses in two separate cases by also deciding they should paid for all 24 hours of their shift. They determined that the 13-Hour Rule that the DOL was promoting under New York’s minimum wage laws was “neither rational nor reasonable”. The rejection of the DOL’s 13-Hour Rule by the Appellate Courts for these three recent cases has presented significant issues for home health care agencies. Due to these rulings, there is now a good amount of case law that would help argue in favor of a significant amount of back pay for all nurses with “live in” shifts dating back 6 years.
Figuring out if you are getting paid correctly under the law is not always a straight forward task. A consultation with an employment lawyer is recommended to help understand your options if you are in fact owed wages. If you have worked for a home health care company as a nurse with “live in” shifts, you may have unpaid wages owed to you. Fitapelli & Schaffer, LLP offers a free phone consultation with one of their available employment lawyers who can help assess your situation. We can be reached at (212) 300-0375 or you can visit our webpage for more information.